Vikings get blown out on the road; time to address draft needs
By Joseph Nocco
With one week left to play in 2013, it is time for the Minnesota Vikings to start looking ahead to the draft. After a 42-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals the Vikings drop to 4-10-1 placing them in the eighth slot in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
After denying any rumors to trade Adrian Peterson in the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. Though free agency is an option, May's upcoming draft is loaded at the QB position.
Because the Vikings will be selecting somewhere in the top 10 of the first round, they will have the ability to choose from the first tier of young quarterback prospects. Arguably the best quarterback coming out in 2014 is Louisville star, Teddy Bridgewater.
Bridgewater was the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy but fell out of the race after an early loss to the University of Central Florida. Despite the lack of accolades directed at the junior quarterback, Bridgewater remains the top quarterback and second overall prospect according to CBS Sports. Throwing 28 touchdowns with only four interceptions to go along with his 3,523 passing yards, Teddy Bridgewater has solidified his position as a top draft pick in 2014.
It is highly likely that Teddy Bridgewater will be off the board by the time the Vikings are on the clock. For this reason, the Minnesota Vikings must look ahead of Bridgewater to assess alternative options at the quarterback position.
The next tier of prospects, though coming off stellar collegiate careers, may not be as effective in the NFL. Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M and Derek Carr from Fresno State comprise the next group of quarterbacks on the list.
Manziel, a former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time Heisman finalist, has played just two years at Texas A&M and is only 21 years old. At the professional level skill and intelligence go hand in hand. After just two years at the collegiate level, Manziel may not be ready to fully comprehend complex NFL defensive schemes or learn the extensive playbooks of teams. To make up for the doubts and criticisms that continuously surround “Johnny Football,” Manziel has to put on a clinic at the NFL combine and have the game of his life when Texas A&M takes on Duke in the Chic-fil-A Bowl on December 31st.
Derek Carr, on the other hand, can only improve. The younger brother of former number one draft pick, David Carr, Derek is certainly expected to out shine his older brother once in the NFL. Both Carr brother attended Fresno State University where Derek has recently surpass his brother’s achievements. Finishing 11-2 following a loss to USC in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Saturday, Carr led the country in several passing categories. Eclipsing the 400-yard passing mark in seven games this year, Carr threw 50 touchdown passes while throwing just eight interceptions. If these numbers aren’t impressive enough, Carr also threw for 5,083 yards in 2013. Similarly to his older brother, Carr is often overlooked due to the school he attends. Fresno State is a Division I program but less than often plays against the nation’s top competition stunting Carr’s draft stock.
The Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need of young players in a variety of different positions. However, without a franchise quarterback it is nearly impossible to win in the NFL. Because of the wheel of quarterbacks used by Minnesota this season ranging from Christian Ponder to Matt Cassel to Josh Freeman, look for the Vikings to select a quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.